The Lakers had plenty of talent when Bill Sharman showed up as their new coach in the summer of 1971.
The Hall of Fame lineup included a towering Wilt Chamberlain at center, flanked by Jerry West and Gail Goodrich. What the team lacked — after years of close misses — was a championship banner.
A fiercely competitive Sharman changed that.
"There's a right coach for the right team and the right personnel," West recalled. "And Bill was certainly the right coach for us."
Sharman — who died Friday at 87 — will be remembered as the man who molded the Lakers into an elite franchise, guiding the 1971-72 squad to a historic 33...